David Valley's Real Estate/Home Inspection Blog



It's that time of the year again, at least in the great North East Massachusetts area. It's getting real cold outside and heating units are starting to come on, on a daily basis. This is the perfect time to learn where your heating dollars are going to waste and have an infrared scan performed to locate those areas of your home where heat is escaping and cold air is stealing your hard earned heating dollars.

My infrared camera allows me to perform a comprehensive energy efficiency inspection within your home by locating and pin-pointing those areas where unconditioned cold air is infiltrating into your living areas. Most cold air infiltrations are located at wall penetrations (such as windows, doors, vents, etc), and at transition areas of fully insulated walls, ceilings and floors. My thermal scan will identify the smallest of insulation breaches and fissures within the concealed cavities of your interior walls and ceilings. I will literally show you where you are wasting your precious energy resources and your hard earned energy dollars. My IR camera enables me to point out exactly where your costly energy dollars are being lost. I will then assist you in determining how to properly insulate those breached areas with minimum damage to your surfaces, so you can get the most out of your heating system for many years to come.

Here are some infrared images I've captured recently.....


No access to the top side of this ceiling, but infrared detects missing insulation


An infrared inspection detects a radiator conducting heat to the exterior.


During a Re-hab, infrared imaging detects missing insulation above ceiling

An infrared home energy efficiency inspection can be used to verify problems caused by poor design, poor workmanship, or material failure. With the ridiculously high priced heating fuel today, my energy audit can pay for itself in as little as one year. This is the ideal inspection to conduct for numerous situations in a typical home…

1) Use my infrared services while I’m performing your Standard home inspection. This valuable option is not included in my standard home inspection fee.

2) You can hire me immediately after completion of your newly constructed home while the home or building is still under warranty with the building contractor. I can also scan your new home on construction stage inspections. (In many cases, those moisture stains on your basement walls are explained away by the builder as "during construction" moisture. It pays to confirm this before the builder’s warranty expires.)

3) If you own an older home that is costing you too much in energy dollars due to excessive air drafts, I can pinpoint those problem areas where cold air is infiltrating your living space. Then, it’s best if you contact a building contractor to upgrade those specific areas that I will be clearly identifying throughout your home. All efficiency information and pictures will be transferred onto a professional thermal report for your convenience.

4) An infrared energy inspection will easily locate any missing insulation behind your finished walls and ceilings. Then, you can contact an insulation contractor to upgrade the areas that I will be identifying throughout your home. These areas will also be clearly identified on a professional energy efficiency report. During this inspection, I can show you how you can insulate specific areas without removing walls or ceilings.

5) I am able to detect potential mold problems behind walls and ceilings. All moisture issues must be mitigated immediately. As I stated previously, infrared imaging does not detect the actual Molds behind your walls and ceilings, but it will detect the issues associated with Mold build-up.

6) Infrared Thermography provides you with a unique opportunity to assess the energy efficiency of your HVAC (heating, ventilating, and air conditioning) systems, including the tightness of the duct work that is located behind your walls and ceilings. In order to prevent deadly carbon monoxide poisoning, this inspection will also test for leaks throughout the vent pipes.

7) An infrared camera will locate those thermal panes that are at the beginning stages of leaking insulated gases. I am able to locate any broken seals in double/triple pane windows that do not visually show signs of condensation as of yet.

Windows look great visually, but infrared detects three thermal barrier leaks


As you can see, having an infrared energy efficiency inspection makes it much easier to positively pinpoint problems throughout your home, instead of simply making an educated guess without the camera. An IR inspection also allows me to communicate my findings with greater understanding to you (the homeowner) instead of just “speaking another language.” As one client had put it very clearly, “This inspection lets my eyes make sense of what my ears are hearing.” Now that makes perfect sense, Right?

The dark blue areas indicates that insulation is missing in this area

Thermal imaging pictures combined with digital photographs can greatly enhance your understanding of just what the problem is and how to go about having it repaired with minimum damage to the home. My final energy efficiency report will enhance your ability to deal directly with the contractors that may be performing the repair work for you. All you have to do is show your contractor the infrared energy efficiency report and they will fully understand your issues. After your contractor completes their upgrade, and before you make any final payment, you can then contact me to perform a final scan to verify that all work was performed correctly.

Looks great visually, until I detect insulation defects with thermal imaging



Comment balloon 7 commentsDavid Valley • November 03 2009 05:11PM


It is that time of year again to start getting these calls.

Here's to a profitable winter Mr. Valley.

Posted by Vince Santos, Southeast Michigan Home Inspector (StepByStep Home Services LC) about 11 years ago

Thank you, Vince.

I keep pretty busy with infrared requests during the winter months. Last year I performed more IR inspections than I did home inspections.

I hope to see you busy with your IR requests also.

Posted by David Valley, Massachusetts Home Inspections (Massachusetts Home Inspections) about 11 years ago

Hi David

I'm in the market for a thermal imager, any advice on what type to get and are you getting enough extra business for the added expense of purchasing the infrared camera?

Posted by Al Wright, Have your inspections performed the Wright Way (Affordable Canadian Home Inspections) about 11 years ago

Hi Al,


The B-cams and compact madels are sufficient enough for home inspections. Don't purchase the expensive IR cameras with all the bells and whistles, as you will not need these options. I purchased the Flir B-2 due to its higher resolution.


12 Things to know before purchasing an IR camera

Posted by David Valley, Massachusetts Home Inspections (Massachusetts Home Inspections) about 11 years ago

Thanks for the advice. I will definitely take it.

Posted by INSPECTPROS, Inc. about 11 years ago

Hello David - I enjoyed reading your blog.  I too hope to add thermal imaging in 2010.  Have a great New Year!

Posted by Andy Chaudoir, Your Home Inspection Connection in Central Texas (Professional Inspection Services - Georgetown, Texas) about 11 years ago

Thank You, Andy.


I hope to see you taking on IR imaging. Not only is IR scanning an optional service, it's exciting. I enjoy thermally scanning buildings on a daily basis.


Good Luck.

Posted by David Valley, Massachusetts Home Inspections (Massachusetts Home Inspections) about 11 years ago

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